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“Serenity at it's best!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Villa Serena Hotel

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Villa Serena Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Las Galeras, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Las Galeras
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Tel Aviv, Israel
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Serenity at it's best!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

Absolutely superb! It's been 9 months since we got back and the taste of Villa Serena still lingers. The most beautiful setting we'd been to in the two weeks we spent in the DR. We had such an amazing time that we decided to cancel another booking and return for another night in Villa Serena before returning home. The rooms were great, but who wants to stay in the room when you can spend your time gazing at the sea and the well groomed gardens from the terrace, the main house or by sitting near the pool. The atmosphere is extremely relaxing, very quiet, and so intimate, you practically feel that you're staying in your own private summer villa. The pool was great, and when we wanted to go out and explore the area it was very easy booking a boat tour to the nearby beaches (which was amazing and very recommended) at the reception. The staff was extremely kind and helpful, and made our stay even more enjoyable. They also helped us easily reserve a table at the glorious "El Cabito" restaurant, located not far away on the edge of a cliff overlooking the whole area. We would definitely return, and would probably stay for a whole week or more instead of going to the very touristic resorts, that lack the unique serene qualities only to be found in Villa Serena. Thank you for making our vacation truly unforgettable.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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101 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Las Vegas, Nevada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

Goodness how I wanted to love this hotel..but I just couldn't find a way to fall in love!

Ever had a relationship where you have such high expectations and all the little things just add up to being to much so it's not going to work and you just have to move on...that's Villa Serena.

The little things:

Leading up to the trip communications with the hotel were spotty and they were unable to confirm a room or bed type. No online booking but being as we have done the DR several times we were OK with all that and as we are casual travelers nothing much bothers us. Upon check in we had a pretty old room and no king bed. Their solution, oh don't worry just put the beds together...both of us 6 feet and over...uh I don't think so...Resolution, switched rooms the following evening to a far better standard of room with a king bed.

Pictures on website a little misleading in regards to beach and the bridge/path out the the little house/structure in the ocean. Not part of their property, it's next door and very run down. Doesn't say you can't enter but not welcoming.

No beach to speak of except a little one when the tide goes out.

They say there is beverage service but the lack of bar makes it awkward and if you are out on the lawn in a lounger no one comes around. My wife's suggestion: When someone checks in give them a small flag or some other notification type that they can place next to their lounger stating they need service of some kind. We all know that alcohol and food sales can be the difference maker to the bottom line...when you have 20 plus people outside sunning give them a way to communicate (seeing as bar is not in existence) and offer to come to them.

Breakfast was good, not great just good. Restaurant is a little tired and the outside seating is on cheap plastic chairs and tables totally not in keeping with the rest of the Villa.

At check in there is no little handout telling you about the area or at least a solid map to assist. We research areas prior so no big deal for us, but for other they really should have this.

Playa Rincon is one of the top 10 beaches in the world and is a 10 minutes boat ride away. We asked at the front desk how much a boat out there and back is and they said they would call someone for us and they would come to front of hotel for $30 each round trip. Seriously folks you have no bar, no real ways to make additional dollars and you want to gouge me, it's not the money here folks it's just the way it's portrayed. Walk 7 minutes to the beach in town and you can easily get it for half that, even though we speak little Spanish. More fun too..$20 at hotel they could have taken me every day and the service would have been much appreciated.

The pool: nothing special and cheap lounge chairs.

The good:

Great location, stunning and I mean stunning landscaping and grounds truly beautiful. Entrance into hotel area provides for an incredible first experience but you never quite feel that again.

Dinner: Had no desire to dine there given the ambiance and I'm a foodie so that is rare.

Clientele: How do I say this without being offensive, as that is not my intention but if you are family with smaller kids this is not the hotel for you. If you are young couple with luxurious expectations then this is not the hotel for you. if you want to stay in a beautiful location for a few nights this fits but don't do a week here like we did. In general the clientele we saw were non American (which is fine LOL) and slightly older. I'm 46 but felt the vast majority were closer to 60 and older.

Being one of the priciest hotels in this small town I'm sorry to say that I would not return. Like I said I wanted to love this place and it's so very close to being amazing (location) they just need to change up a few things and they could be there...it's certainly worth them trying as this could easily be a $250 plus a night hotel!

What you could do:

Bed linens - Upgrade immediately and get rid of bedspreads, then add good pillows.
More information at check and better communication prior
Online booking
Facelift for some of the rooms
Patios on all rooms are great but outdoor seating on them was terrible and uncomfortable. Providing better seating and larger table on patios would make a huge difference and make people want to stay out there instead of just hanging up their towels to dry.
Some kind of flag/sign to enable servers to service the lawn area better.
New pool loungers.

But as always, that's just my opinion.

Good Luck

Room Tip: You can't pre-book a particular room and when I asked they said they do not guarantee a specific...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sosua, Dominican Republic
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

Our 2nd visit was even better! The tranquility of the beautiful hotel and grounds is breathtaking. My sister was visiting from the states and was blown away!!!!!!The breakfast which is included was very good. The waitresses were very friendly and efficient.

Room Tip: We always stay near the desk. My sister was next door. Her rooms balcony was the best!!!!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

You can sit on your balcony or the veranda and gaze at the gorgeous ocean with surrounding reefs, overlooking the well-tended gardens. The only sounds are the breaking waves, the wind rustling in the palms and the doves coming to roost. Take a dip in the sea right out front or walk to one of the nearby beaches. The small town of Las Galeras is just a few minutes walk, with several nice restaurants and shops. the hotel restaurant is also good. if you want to stay home.The hotel is clean with a simple elegance from a bygone era. Very quiet, no TV or phone in the room, just the ocean breeze....a perfect place to really relax.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

At first my husband and I were nervous about staying here. It was more than we normally spend when traveling, plus we were traveling with two little kids and the place was SOOO quite. (Ages 2 and 4.) When we first arrived most of the people staying didn't have kids and I was worried about interrupting their beautiful vacation. But, we had a wonderful time! Everyone was so nice. The staff is amazing. The air conditioning is great too. Our kids had a blast! What they loved most was the pool or beach (there really is a beach!) but all the rocks and lawn. Also, this hotel is a block from town, which is nice. The main strip into town is loud. Also, the hotel is only a five-ten minute walk from one of the most beautiful beaches ever. This place could be an all inclusive hotel if you want it to be too. I loved it here. We'd go back!

Room Tip: Try to get a room at the end. Also, air conditioning is a must!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Germany
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

Arriving to Las Galleras, i thought that i am going to be bored to death, but this fantastic hotel, great stuff, wonderful cocktails, relaxing pool and the laid back village bring you into a very relax mood. The gardens were great, the guests were nice and relax and the beaches all around are among the best we saw. It is true that they publish that they have bikes, which are a joke and yoga classes which are organize for groups, but the breakfast is tasty, and the rocking chairs in the balcony leave you with one choice to stair at the beach and smile (especially with pina colada)

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sf/dc
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

Absolutely the most stunning hotel I have ever stayed in: the endless ocean view, the generous and thoughtfully decorated rooms, the expansive private decks with hammocks or loungers, the beautifully cultivated garden, the vaulted European architecture of the main "lobby" spilling out onto the terra cotta patio. Every artistic, refined detail of VS is a testament to the care taken by the management here.

Service was excellent with crisp white towels and linens generously replenished, fresh-cut flowers adorning every surface, delicious food and drink readily available. The hotel was absolutely sparkling-CLEAN and well-maintained. I'll concede that the staff is not overly "friendly" (but always pleasant!) but I'm not sure that should really bother anyone, assuming you bring your own friends/ family on vacation with you.

Other thoughts:

-Men: if you need to light (or reignite) the spark of romance, this is the place to do it!! Your woman will absolutely swoon when she sees/ experiences this place.

-We actually preferred the lawn to the beach. The ocean is totally swimmable right in front of VS -- just down a couple stairs. You don't have to worry about getting sand in every crack and crevice and it's almost completely private. Besides, big white-sand beaches are a short walk/ boat ride away if you want to change it up.

-This is an EXCELLENT value for the money -- this place would easily cost $400-500/ night in Europe or US.

-The location is excellent. 5 minute walk into "downtown" Cabarete and yet totally remote and serene. 10 minute walk to Playita beach.

-Lastly, if you want a party scene with loud music and crazy-fun or the latest big-screen TV with a million channels or a high-tech hot tub with jets, this place is definitely NOT for you. Stay away. If you loved "A Room with a View" then you will love this place!!

Room Tip: I'm not sure you can really go wrong, but we had Room #1 and loved it. Huge deck with hammock a...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa Serena Hotel

Address: Las Galeras, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Samana Province > Las Galeras
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Las Galeras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Villa Serena Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 21
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Villa Serena Hotel Samana, Dominican Republic

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